2254 - Vice President, Communications and Public Engagement

Washington, District of Columbia, United States | GRPA | Full-time


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally funded, private, nonprofit grantmaking organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Vice President, Communications and Public Engagement. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

Position Summary:

The Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) will develop, lead, and execute on strategic initiatives that consistently articulate NED’s bipartisan mission of supporting democracy and freedom around the world to external audiences and stakeholders.

As a member of the Senior Leadership team, reporting directly to the President and CEO, the Vice President for Communications and Public Engagement will lead NED’s outreach and communications strategy, serve as a senior spokesperson to build support for its mission, help amplify the voice and impact of grantees, and forge partnerships to support our work. The Vice President will oversee communications coordination and coherence across NED, including its constituent democracy support activities, and manage a growing team and portfolio, including digital platforms (website, social media, newsletters), editorial content and publications, media relations, convenings and events, video production, and other outreach functions.

The Vice President will partner with the President and CEO to develop new partnerships that expand our impact and lead all private fundraising efforts to provide NED greater flexibility and capacity. The Vice President will also manage some of NED’s internal communication functions, advise NED leadership and Board of Directors in areas of functional responsibilities, and coordinate with the Core Institutes (IRI, NDI, CIPE, and Solidarity Center) in these areas.


  • Provide overall strategic direction and leadership for public engagement and communications of NED.
  • Develop and implement NED’s public engagement and communications strategy.
  •  Serve as the lead strategist for storytelling, media, and messaging across NED.
  •  Ensure that NED defines itself publicly and amplifies the voice of our partners.
  •  Determine how best NED can engage key stakeholders in our work to grow audiences and deepen support for democracy assistance.
  •  Expand and cultivate relationships with relevant journalists, publications, and thought leaders in the foreign policy community to increase visibility of NED leadership, experts, partners, events, and other initiatives.
  •  Exercise judgment and effectively manage crisis communications issues, advising NED leadership and staff on appropriate messaging and/or public response.
  •  Drive a strategic editorial content plan across multiple platforms, including: websites, newsletters, social media, video, events, annual reports, and other outreach initiatives.
  •  Develop and edit grantee stories, features, statements, and other communications materials, including new products, to share NED’s work with public audiences.
  •  Maintain brand and messaging consistency, and advancement of brand and visibility, across NED departments, platforms, and various initiatives.
  •  Build comprehensive style guidelines and train NED staff on best practices for communications, media, speaking, and outreach.
  •  Analyze digital metrics for various communications initiatives and platforms to measure impact, test new strategies, and make data-informed decisions.
  •  Support the President and CEO in external and internal communications efforts.
  • Plan and oversee NED public and private events, including managing A/V support and video production.
  • Develop NED standard for excellence in convening in-person and virtual events.
  • Lead on major NED events, including the annual Democracy Awards.
  • Test new strategies to grow audiences and increase media attention for public events.
  • Collaborate on events with like-minded partners, including democracy assistance actors, the foreign policy community, and Core Institutes.
  • Support NED internal convenings and staff programming, including town halls.
  • Develop and implement innovative partnerships with external actors that enhance our impact and expand attention to and resources for democratic priorities.
  • Lead private fundraising for NED, including cultivating corporate, individual, and foundation gifts, and managing private donor relations.
  • Support fundraising for specific initiatives such as Gershman Democrats at Risk fellowships or other democratic support activities, like the Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy and research for the International Forum for Democratic Studies.
  • Generate unrestricted private funds that provide management flexibility for staff investments and maximize public funds use for grantmaking.
  • Engage the Board in forging new partnerships to advance our work and focused fundraising efforts.
  • Support internal communications, working closely with the President’s Office.
  • Lead and manage a team of professionals in a manner that promotes a culture of high-performance, commitment to quality, while helping to foster learning and professional development.
  • Facilitate cooperation and collaboration within the team and throughout the organization.
  • Ensure the NED public engagement and communications strategy and team advance, support, and amplify the NED’s mission and work.
  • Manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  • Serve on the Senior Leadership Team and contribute to NED’s overall strategy and direction.



  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in communications, media/journalism, events management, public engagement activities, fundraising, and/or publicrelations, including at leadership/executive level.
  • Demonstrated success building a strategic communications plan in a highly matrixed organization that targets multiple stakeholder audiences and leverages traditional, digital, and social media platforms.
  • Extensive experience in special event management and development, preferably in a nonprofit or entrepreneurial environment.
  • Demonstrated track record of developing and managing private fundraising initiatives, including developing effective partnerships with corporate and major individual donors.
  • Keen understanding of digital platforms, production, data, and analytics.
  • Experience managing a team of people and working collaboratively across organizational hierarchies and structures.
  • Superior writing, editing, digital production, public speaking, and communications skills.

Other Qualifications:

  • In-depth understanding of the NED’s work and international democracy policy issues.

  • Diverse media network and relationships, with strong portfolio of pitching media and placing stories.

  • Relationships and familiarity with international civil society organizations, independent media, and core institutes helpful.

  • Astute political judgment and knowledge of media audiences, policymakers, government officials and experts in the foreign policy field.

  • Relationship management with board members and donors.

  • Authorized to work in the United States.


  • Mission-driven.
  • Strong working relationships with journalists and communications leaders in similar organizations.
  • Sophisticated communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Strategic and creative thinker.
  • Entrepreneurial self-starter.
  • Exceptional credibility, judgment, and diplomacy skills.
  • Effective presentation skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize workload, meet deadlines, and be attentive to details.
  • Strong collaboration skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team player.

To Apply:

Applications must include a cover letter, resume, desired salary, and contact information for three professional references, one of which must be a supervisor.  Please, no phone calls.

The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The NED is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation for all qualified individuals and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The NED believes that diversity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as an organization operating globally and seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org or careers@ned.org.